If anything ever really offered a true representation of the randomness of my life it’s been these last few weeks.
It all started with a loose 510 connector on my Vaporesso Target Pro. The tank kept getting a wobble on so I stripped the base down to find the 510 connector is a “pop-on” type. I wasn’t going to open it up every other week to pop the connector back on so I decided to order a Fat Daddy v4 510 connector from http://www.modmaker.co.uk/. It arrived pretty quickly. I had to Dremel out the hole on the Vaporesso for it to fit but the final job was worth it.
… to Spectrum 48K …
While my soldering gear was out I decided to do some of those soldering jobs I’d been putting off for a while. My first task was to composite mod my old Spectrum 48K. I took my faithful old Speccy out of storage and, before getting its composite on, I decided to take it for a test run. This presented me with a slight problem… I haven’t owned a cassette deck in 25 years. After finding a couple of games online in TZX format I converted them to MP3 and dropped them on to my iPhone. I know there’s a long list of people having already done this but I can’t help but love the ability of 30 year old technology running in harmony with modern technology.
… to Spectrum 48K+ …
Once again I’ve been neck deep in real world stuff. This time I’ve been working on something for a local charity group, Have a Hart Help the Homeless.
Have a Hart Help the Homeless are, in their own words “Made up of volunteers, an outreach organisation to help support Birmingham’s homeless”. They do this by taking food, clothing and supplies such as toiletries, out to the homeless people of Birmingham. Support is also provided in the way of help and advice to connect homeless people to relevant services designed to help homeless people get back on their feet.
What have I been doing? Well, the group asked me to put together a website, to their specification, in order for them to grow their volunteer and supporter base… and that’s what I’ve done.
I know, I said I wasn’t going to do anymore I.T. work but being for a good cause I decided I would.
While carrying out the work I have been alerted to some appalling figures and statistics. Shelter.org.uk recently conducted a survey which estimates that there are almost 10,000 homeless people living in Birmingham. For further perspective that’s one in every 119 people.
I had no intention of posting about this when I started but now it only seems right that I do.
I would like to ask a favour.
I’d like to ask that if you’d be kind enough to offer your support. It doesn’t have to be money, or goods, it can be as simple as popping over to the site and liking their Facebook page or following their Twitter feed and sharing or retweeting posts. By helping extend their online presence they stand a better chance of accomplishing their mission and you will have helped make a difference, all in the click of a button.
Thank you from myself and on behalf of Have a Hart Help the Homeless. Let’s see if we can bring those homeless figures down, collectively.
My Vaporesso Target Pro and Gemini RTA tank
I’d been happily using my Kangertech Subox mini v2 for a while now. That was until, while dropping a new coil in the RBA deck, I managed to send it skooting along the kitchen worktop and into the washing up bowl full of hot water. I dried it out and it worked OK for a few months but after that it started crapping out on me, intermittently not firing up, etc.
Fortunately my partner bought me a Vaporesso Target Pro for my birthday and I got a Vaporesso Gemini tank to go with it. Being an old skool gaming geek I just loved the retro Quickshot joystick look about it.
It’s been going great for me until last week when, while fitting the new coils, I noticed the negative pin had come loose, moving up and down in the slot. This was having an adverse effect on the resistance of my coils by altering the tension on the coils as the pin moved about. At this point I could either send it back, leaving me without a tank for a week or so, or set about securing the post. I decided to secure the post and it turned out a lot simpler than I thought it would. Continue reading “Gemini tank by Vaporesso and loose negative post fix”
Mega-CD European box art
UPDATE: It has been brought to my attention (thanks, Rob) that Facebook screws with the images, namely adding a white background and a random filename. I have now uploaded the full size versions in TOSEC naming format to MEGA and added a download link below.I have a Mega-CD unit in my collection but it’s not always practical digging it out to play a game. Like many others I find it easier to make a backup of my CDs and play them on the PC via an emulator.
I backed up all of my Mega-CD games a while ago so when I received a Linx Vision gaming tablet from the missus and kids this Christmas I decided to install Retroarch and put my Mega-CD games onto the micro SD card.
It’s not the first time (and probably not the last) I’ve set up a front-end for emulation. A few years ago I converted an old Sega Saturn controller to USB and added a 64GB flash drive to it. On the flash drive I installed Kega Fusion along with a Hyperspin front-end. It all looked great but something bugged me, the fact all of my European Mega-CD games were accompanied by US “Sega CD” box art. I tried looking around for some European Mega-CD box art for my games but there wasn’t much offering out there.
I decided, after configuring Retroarch, it was time I made some up myself. I mostly used box scans found at segaretro.org as source material and re-worked them to fit with my goals. Some images (such as “The San Diego Zoo Presents The Animals!”) I’ve found by scouring the web and rebuilding them as best I could.
After completing box art for my own games I decided to go ahead and do the whole set* of European boxes. I then decided to put them out there on the web for others in the same mindset as myself. There’s a few below as an example but they can all be downloaded from the Hey Munky Facebook page. Continue reading “Mega-CD Box Art (Europe) collection”
…and a Happy New Year
Christmas is an exciting time for a child.
Nothing beats a relaxed family Christmas but while those memories really bring on the nostalgia they’re specific to me and will mean little to anyone else; nor are they really tangible things I can reminisce over with others. Something I can share and nostalgically reminisce over with others though is gifts, specifically toys.
Looking back at my childhood Christmases there are a number of toys that really struck a chord with me, and possibly others.
I just won a Nintendo Classic Mini…
Yep, a Nintendo Classic Mini. Sorry, it’s still sinking in that I won something.
I’m not the type of person who would normally enter a competition and even on the rare occasion that I do I rarely rank amongst the top scorers; and that’s OK because it’s normally for brain exercise and enjoyment of it all.
The last time I won a prize was back in the early ’80s when I won a competition to meet Worzel Gummidge (Jon Pertwee) at a show way down in the deepest parts of Cornwall but my parents were unable to take me and 5 year old me threatening to make my own way there wasn’t really ever going to make an impact.
Just over a week ago my lovely niece tagged me in Game Smart Yardley‘s post to win a Nintendo Classic Mini. The challenge was to name as many classic games featuring the characters in the image as possible (below). The person with the most correct answers wins.
At first I thought I’d have a go just for myself. I could see a whole bunch of characters on there I recognised instantly and some characters that resided deep in the darkest pits of my memories going back 30 years. I started noting them down and by the time I finished I decided I might as well take a shot at the prize. I’m glad I did because I won.
Thank you guys at Game Smart Yardley and thank you to my niece for tagging me in the first place. If it’s any consolation to my fellow competitors, all this shows is I’m an old gaming nerd who can’t remember his own phone number but still remembers a character from a game he played in 1986.
Guess Who?.. It’s me.
No, I mean the “The ORIGINAL Mystery Face Guessing Game” from MB or in this case Guess Who? Extra from Hasbro.
The kids have been having a clear out of some of their old
crap toys and games. Amongst them was a Guess Who? Extra game bought for my youngest at one Christmas or another. It’s the electronic one where the electronic bit doesn’t really do anything worthwhile but is there more for the sake of novelty.
It initially came with a few swappable character cards (such as kids and aliens) with a promise of more being available on the Hasbro website. I remember perusing the Hasbro site at the time, and looking at a handful of printable cards that were available. I also remember my son not being all that interested in their offerings.
Well, now he’s decided to get rid of it because he’s “too old for it”. He may think he’s too old but I’m 40 and I’m having it. I think it’s the perfect game to play with my daughter. She has, amongst other issues, autism, ADHD and global learning difficulties so this game is the ideal opportunity for us to spend some time together with something that may hold her interest.
Not only that but if she takes to it I can make other cards with her favourite characters, Worzel Gummidge, The Wizard of Oz, maybe even family members.
To that end I decided to see what character cards were still available on the Hasbro website but all I could find were character cards for a different version of the game; and those don’t fit into the Extra shell. This presented me with the ideal opportunity to come up with my own character sheets, amongst them Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Super Mario and a retro gaming card. I decided I’d upload them here for the benefit of anyone else who may want to use them. I’ve created both red and blue and kept to the original character selection positions of the original cards. It wasn’t necessary but it makes it more difficult to guess your opponents character by watching them move the sliders.
Right-click and Save link as…
Print using Landscape mode at 100% with no scaling.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
At some point I’d like to do a Transformers G1 set and maybe some adult orientated (not pr0n) sets such as the Walking Dead and Game of Thrones.
Edit: I had a free hour or so this afternoon so knocked together these “The Walking Dead” Character Cards.
The Walking Dead
Further edit: I had a bit more time free last night and this afternoon so, having found some nice box scans on botchthecrab.com, I put together these Transformers G1 Character Cards. Decepticon names are printed italicized for easy identification. I’ve reworked the template slightly for a better fit in the Guess Who? Extra shell.
Transformer character images courtesy of botchthecrab.com